• OLD BOULSTON MANOR, Uzmaston, Pembrokeshire 2011

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Notes on OLD BOULSTON MANOR, Uzmaston, Pembrokeshire 2011

With little information gathered before I left, I reached the ruins of Boulston Manor in constant and substantial rain. I had left my house early in the morning and the skies were free from cloud but as I reached my destination the clouds had gathered and had just begun to release their heavy drops.
Nonetheless, I had driven seventy miles so I donned my wellington boots and waterproofs and followed the footpath from New Boulston Manor driveway and down to the banks of the Cleddau Estuary.

I had expected some trouble locating the site but once I had reached the estuary it was only a short walk before I came across the high walls, although much covered with summer foliage, that stretch about 100 metres alongside the river bank and form the barrier between river and manor house.

What I was viewing however was more than a wall but in fact a long and deep garden terrace which gave excellent views of the estuary and all thereabouts. Behind the walls stand the remnants of the manor house. The most interesting part being the three-storey high staircase block and opposite this another corner(?) section also 3 – 4 storeys high. A vaulted cellar sits between and beneath these two sections and above this was once the great hall.

Built in the 15th century with additions throughout the following centuries up until 1702 and was home for the influential Wogan family and it is believed the house was abandoned in 1773 when the then owner built the close-by New Bouslton Manor some third of a mile inland.

My visit, although in heavy rain, was not unpleasant in the least. The canopy of the trees and overgrowth kept me and my equipment relatively sheltered with the strong aroma of wild garlic at the end of its growing season, filling the damp air.

This decrepit building omits a sense of majestic pride, possible due to its longevity as ruin – this house has been abandoned for over 200 years and one has a sense of the house that it must have been a striking property 400 years ago and it is easy to imagine how it would have felt to wander along the long garden terrace as the estuary waters rippled against the walls and it was probably possible to have reached down, whilst the tide was incoming, to run ones fingers in the tidal waters.

To photograph Old Boulston Manor was somewhat of a challenge and I believe a re-visit will be necessary during the winter months when the heavy foliage would not be obscuring the high stone walls. Every image seen here required exposures bewteen 4 - 12 minutes long due to this foliage and dark rain clouds.

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